Sunday, November 6, 2016

Good times in Yosemite

Hi everyone, here it is, another trip and another trip report procrastinated. It only took me six weeks to write this up, well 5.9 weeks of putting it off and .1 to edit photos and write. I have no excuses, it just happens. Fortunately, there are only three people who actually care (sorry Rakesh and DC) and I am one of them. So, with that stellar introduction lets get into it.

I had been hoping to have some backcountry adventures in Yosemite with DC ever since he started working there earlier this year. We finally were able to arrange a trip towards the end of September. Amazingly, DC and I had not backpacked together since 2014, when we hiked together for 2.5 months along the PCT. Busy lives and all that, but really it shouldn't have taken us that long. Rakesh had some free time as well, so he came along for the fun.

Our original plan, which was planned the night before we left, turned out to be a bit too ambitious and I think I may have miscalculated mileage by 15 or so miles. So on day one, when we realized the plan wasn't going to happen, we made some changes and turned a fairly strenuous trip into a pretty easy one.

Day 1: Mono Meadow to Lower Ottoway Lake (~14 miles)

After an excellent breakfast (Thanks DC!) and a leisurely start, we headed out of Mono Meadow trailhead around 11 am. The trail descends to Illilouette Creek and then slowly climbs back up. The day was beautiful with temperatures in the upper 60s.


By the time we made it to the junction where we could continue our original planned route or go up to Ottoway lakes, it was getting close to dark. It was at this point when we decided to change our plans and spend the night up at the lakes.

Lower Ottoway Lake

Day 2: Day hiking up to Red's Pass and Upper Ottoway Lake (~ 7 miles)

We slept in and spent the day exploring the area. The Ottoway lakes are really picturesque and the Clark range is quite lovely with many shades of red and grey. We climbed up to Red's Pass to enjoy the view. Its a pretty steep climb with a lot of switchbacks but with only day packs not too difficult. There was talk of climbing Red's Peak but from the pass it looked a bit too sketchy to attempt.

Cool Cloud Patterns

From Red's Pass down towards Upper Ottoway Lake

View towards Red's Pass

The afternoon was spent wandering around and napping.

Napping near Upper Ottoway Lake

Day 3: Lower Ottoway Lake to Mono Meadow

Another lovely day to finish off the trip.

It was great to spend some time in the backcountry with Rakesh and DC. Thanks Guys

Sunset overlooking Lower Ottoway Lake